The Future of Work Arrived Way Too Early

A UPS worker delivers packages along Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan, July 9, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
And policymakers had better respond fast.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W ith the next stage of stimulus seemingly on life support, it is important to take stock of how important taking more action will be. More than half the people who lost their jobs when the economy shut down are still unemployed. It’s the biggest labor-market policy challenge of our lifetimes.

Before COVID-19’s unfortunate takeover of American public policy, labor economists weren’t terribly in demand. Wages were rising, the unemployment rate was at historic lows, tight labor markets were reducing labor-market disparities, and the Federal Reserve had decided to relax and keep the run going. The longest jobs expansion in history was

Marianne Wanamaker is an associate professor of economics at the University of Tennessee, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.

Most Popular

The Arson Party

About that peaceful transfer of power . . . I do not have access to my friend Mario Loyola’s Donald J. Trump super-secret decoder ring, but I am inclined to accept Loyola’s explanation that what President Trump was trying to say, but couldn’t quite manage to say, was the usual witless Trump trolling -- ... Read More

The Arson Party

About that peaceful transfer of power . . . I do not have access to my friend Mario Loyola’s Donald J. Trump super-secret decoder ring, but I am inclined to accept Loyola’s explanation that what President Trump was trying to say, but couldn’t quite manage to say, was the usual witless Trump trolling -- ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Do You Want 51 or 52 States Next Year?

“The prospects of statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have never been greater, but many significant obstacles loom,” The Hill declares. The Constitution declares, “new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Do You Want 51 or 52 States Next Year?

“The prospects of statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have never been greater, but many significant obstacles loom,” The Hill declares. The Constitution declares, “new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction ... Read More
Law & the Courts

No, the Democrats Won’t Pack the Court

For many progressive opinion-makers, the only way to save the Supreme Court is to destroy it.   They believe the best response to the Republican-held Senate confirming a Trump nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court is to pack the Court if Democrats win in November. Holding out the ... Read More
Law & the Courts

No, the Democrats Won’t Pack the Court

For many progressive opinion-makers, the only way to save the Supreme Court is to destroy it.   They believe the best response to the Republican-held Senate confirming a Trump nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court is to pack the Court if Democrats win in November. Holding out the ... Read More